Wednesday 26 June 2013

Australia Dairy Company, Hong Kong

Amongst the fine dining, dim sum, ramen, sushi, seafood that we enjoyed in Hong Kong it maybe strange that perhaps near the very top of our favourite was a humble scrambled egg.  One of the cheapest and most satisfying eats during our holiday to the culinary mecca.  To top it off we patiently queued twenty minutes for our dose of the silky, fluffy egg, twice.  It was so good it was the only place we revisited during our stay.
No matter what time of day there seems to be a queue out of the door at Australia Diary Company in the Jordan district.  Not somewhere to linger around with it being a café the queue is fast moving, in part to the efficiency and famous ‘don’t outstay your welcome’ attitude of the staff.  Before our visit I read about the pushiness and rudeness of the café staff.  What we encountered was milder than the descriptions; perhaps others caught them on a bad day.  We were surprised when we were finally seated that our server even kindly gave us another chair for Mrs Nom to put her bag on.  Not what we were expecting, bearing in mind the cramped seating and in and out nature of the eatery.  We shared a four table with two randomers as is the norm in Hong Kong due to the high footfall and lack of space.
Not being familiar with the menu we wanted to order scrambled egg on toast and macaroni in a pork soup base with char sui.  We tried to order it separately and the server informed us it was cheaper as part of the tea set which everyone seemed to be having.  Despite us obviously being non locals this was again a nice touch as some joints are out to fleece the tourists.
Our food literally arrived in 30 seconds, which in other circumstances would have sent us running back out the door.  However we had heard too many good things and it made sense when everyone was ordering the same thing, the production line was well oiled.  The macaroni in a pork soup was comforting and reminded me of something my mum used to make, the char sui added some interest whilst not being blown away.  The showstopper was the scrambled egg on lightly toasted thick white bread.  The egg was fluffy, cooked just right and the buttered soft toasted bread was perfect.  I would have this every day for breakfast if I could.

Apologies for the lack of pictures, we were too busy trying to scoff it down!
The tea set for about the equivalent of £3.50 included a hot drink which the order is taken part way through the meal.  I ordered a milky tea, Hong Kong style with condensed milk and Mrs Nom had an iced version, which is an ideal drink as a reprieve against the hot and humid Hong Kong weather.  We were finishing up our drinks when I first noted the customary ‘gentle’ persuasion to give up our seats by the passing waiters.  Never directly asking us to leave I heard a few indirect comments such as ‘are you planning to stay for dinner as well?’ and ‘what do you think this is, a coffee shop?’.  It was quite humorous and it was clear the waiters were well versed in making the subtle comments without being offensive. 
Sensing our 20 minutes were up we made our way to the cashier to pay, the servers write a number on a piece of paper which you give to the cashier indicating the total amount to pay.  Time is money I guess and at such low prices constant table turnover is key.  I wonder if such service and behaviour would be tolerated here in the UK or would the customer service be berated so much by fellow bloggers that they would soon be out of business.  But for me, for the scrambled eggs and unbeatable value alone I’d tolerate a lot worse before it would put me off.

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